Tibor R. Machan
The shooter of Trayvon Martin is now said by many to have apologized. All over the media this is being reported, even on Fox TV news. Even though he did nothing of the sort.
To apologize implies that one is taking responsibility for something bad. One cannot apologize for a rained out picnic but can for failing to provide umbrellas. What Mr. Zimmerman said in court on Friday April 20 is this: “I am sorry for the loss of your son.” And who wouldn’t be? Saying this doesn’t at all imply that Zimmerman, accused of murdering Mr. Martin, admitted guilt. He, like anyone who grasps the loss of Mr. Martin’s parents, expressed his sorrow.
But by characterizing it as an apology, news reporters implicate Mr. Zimmerman in confessing to murder which he certainly didn’t do.
I have no stake in this at all. I don’t know if Mr. Zimmerman is guilty of manslaughter, murder, negligent homicide, or killing someone in self defense. What I do know is that what he said in court on Friday does not amount to a confession. Let’s get this straight.*
* I develop the thesis here more fully in “Should You Apologize?” a chapter of my book Libertarianism Defended (Ashgate, 2006)